Andrew McWilliam, co-owner and manager of Ratio Café, was quick to adapt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Carole Fawcett - Contributed)

Andrew McWilliam, co-owner and manager of Ratio Café, was quick to adapt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Carole Fawcett - Contributed)

Vernon coffee shop gives health-care heroes a boost after ‘heartbreaking’ protest

Ratio Coffee & Pastry stands up for COVID-19 heroes with free beverages Thursday

After more than a thousand people protested out front of Kelowna General Hospital Wednesday in part of a “worldwide walkout” denouncing proof of vaccination programs, a Vernon coffee house is going out of its way to show its appreciation by giving all health-care workers a boost.

“We are heartbroken today by the disrespect shown to our health care workers,” Ratio Coffee & Pastry wrote in a Facebook post on Sept. 1. “This pandemic has put you to the test and we know many of you are exhausted.”

In response, the popular coffee spot offered all those in health care free beverages Thursday, Sept. 2, at both Ratio and Amplified at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, as a way to show them their work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Get the biggest one… with extra espresso… it’s on us.”

Those interested in buying a health-care worker a beverage can go to, click send a gift card and email that to Already, according to updates to social media, more than $450 has been donated by gift card and more have dropped off donations in-store.

Ratio was one of the first businesses to install plexiglass when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020, co-owner Andrew McWilliam told Black Press columnist Carole Fawcett. He said he looked to cities with higher case counts, such as San Francisco, to see how businesses were adapting.

READ MORE: Behind the Mask: Vaccinated and caffeinated

The shop was quick to comply with physically distanced seating and eventually with the province’s call for take-out only.

When patio dining was permitted, Ratio put up a pop-up tent and physically distanced outdoor serving to welcome back patrons safely.

Now, Ratio also sells pins that read “vaccinated and caffeinated” in support of COVID-19 vaccines.

Interior Health is hosting a pop-up vaccination clinic at the coffee house at 3101 29th Street this Friday (Sept. 3) from 8:30-6:30 p.m. This is open for anyone who requires their first or second dose, so long as it’s been 28 days since the first jab.

Clinics are set to pop-up around Vernon next week, including the Farmers’ Market at Kal Tire Place on Monday (Sept. 3) between 8:30-1 p.m.; Okanagan College Vernon Campus, Tuesday (Sept. 7), 9-4 p.m. and Butcher Boys on Wednesday (Sept. 8) from 10-3 p.m.

For more information on clinics and vaccinations, visit

– with Carole Fawcett files

READ MORE: Vax card protesters take over streets near Kelowna General Hospital

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon coffee shop honours B.C. health officials with doughnuts


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